If an African safari isn’t on your bucket list, it should be. The journey gets you a front-row seat to the most extraordinary wildlife extravaganza on earth. My choice was Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, with almost one-third of its land protected for wildlife conservation. The country boasts 22 national parks, including the legendary Serengeti, along with the Ngorongoro Conservation area. This UNESCO site is home to the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera, and Olduvai Gorge, a deep ravine about 30 miles long.  Fossilized bones and stone tools in the area date back millions of years, leading archaeologists to conclude that humans evolved in Africa.

In the famed Serengeti, there are over 70 species of mammals and more than 500 birds.  Game drives via safari vehicles provide the best and safest method for getting deep into the heart of Tanzania to quietly and patiently observe animal behavior. What you’ll experience, whether it’s a pride of lions feasting on a kill, or the noisy wildebeest rushing across the Mara River, is determined entirely by the natural world. Securing a reliable tour operator with guides who intimately know and understand Tanzania’s culture and wildlife is the best way to approach a safari. This dynamic landscape of Tanzania, teeming with wildlife, rich in historical culture, much of it unchanged over thousands of years, is a priceless experience to give yourself.